It can be difficult finding an authentic Montessori school because the Montessori name is not trademarked. Any private institution can use the name without being a true Montessori establishment that incorporates child-driven learning. When looking for a Montessori preschool near Winnetka, it’s important to look for certain aspects, like those below.
Accredited by the American Montessori Association
The American Montessori Association (AMI) sets the standard for Montessori schools, oversees teacher development, and accredits schools as authentic providers of Montessori education. Most teachers need to complete 200 to 600 hours of pre-service training to become certified practitioners of Montessori teaching.
All accredited schools are staffed by teachers trained to guide children per their individual needs. Many authentic schools have an AMI badge proudly displayed on their website, but others might not. If you don’t see a badge, contact them to inquire about their accreditation status. Some schools might not be accredited but still teach authentic Montessori education, just look for other aspects of the Montessori method.
Montessori preschools have mixed classes of children ages 2 to 5 years old, because it’s highly advantageous to children in their early years. The mixed range is because children naturally use older children as role models, and older children naturally want to assist younger children. This gives younger children a goal to work toward—mentorship of future classmates—and older children are given an opportunity to develop responsibility for younger peers.
Academic and Personal Child Development
Authentic Montessori preschools go beyond teaching children academic topics. The Montessori method’s scope extends to personal development, including practical life and social skills. For the practical life portion, children learn about setting and cleaning tables for meals, washing dishes after meals, 20-second hand washing, and more. Children also learn how to communicate to people of various ages, from their own age group to adults and elders. They develop a holistic understanding of themselves and the world around them.
Ultimately, a Montessori preschool must follow the philosophy established by Dr. Montessori
Valor Montessori Prep’s mission is to provide child-guided education for children aged 2- to 5-years-old that inspires lifelong learning, as per Dr. Montessori’s philosophy. Our curriculum supports early-age reading, to give children a headstart on their academic success. Contact us to learn more about our hands-on Montessori preschool in Winnetka.